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THE man suing Powerball winner Edwin Castro for allegedly cashing in his stolen ticket has slammed the 31-year-old for his extravagant spending since scooping $2.04billion.
Gardener Jose Rivera stands by his claim he is the rightful owner of the winning ticket, despite appearing in court last week charged with filing a false police report.
He is still suing his former landlord, Urachi F. Romero, alleging he stole the ticket from him which he purchased last November before it ended up in Castro’s hands.
Rivera lost his lawyer in the civil case, and both men deny the claims.
At the same time, the California Lottery Commission has always maintained Castro is the real winner with CCTV evidence allegedly proving his purchase.
But Rivera doubled down in an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun and has hit out at Castro for spending so much since he opted for a lump sum payment of $997.6 million.
Rivera said: “Castro’s gonna pay, he’s gonna pay for what he’s done. And I’ll leave it in God’s hands as well, he will take care of it.
“It’s so ridiculous that he’s spending all that money, but I see him like a little kid who wanted a toy.”
Castro had a one in 230 million chance of winning the huge prize when he bought the ticket last year and has been enjoying the money despite the ongoing legal case.
He has purchased two luxury properties since his win, plunking down $25million on a home in the Hollywood Hills above Sunset Strip, close to pop star Ariana Grande.
He has also purchased a second $4million home, thought to be for his family, in his hometown of Altadena, along with several vintage cars including a Porsche.
Despite several reports Castro had also purchased a $47million home in Bel Air, his lawyer denied this and The U.S. Sun confirmed another man had bought the property months ago.
He has also donated huge sums of money in secret to several charities, his lawyer confirmed.
Rivera went on to claim: “He’s never worked for his money, he doesn’t know what work is, and reality … he’s not the rightful winner and he knows it.
“If he was the rightful winner, how come he doesn’t confront the media? Or how come he doesn’t come out, and confront things like a real man?
“I’m here, I’m willing to give everything, all my paperwork that I have since November. I came out since November.”
Despite Rivera’s claims, it is understood Castro did have a full-time job before his win, and although he has not spoken publicly his lawyer has been releasing statements on his behalf.
Attorney David De Paoli has spoken at length to The U.S. Sun and laughed off Rivera’s claims.
He also alleged last month he had seen CCTV footage of Castro buying the winning ticket, which was taken from Joe’s Service Station in Altadena by the California Lotty.
He said: “I have personally viewed the CCTV footage and it is crystal clear. Edwin Castro purchased the winning Powerball ticket without question.”
Lottery spokesperson Carolyn Becker also said: “I am not able to provide any additional comment as it would be inappropriate while the case is pending.
“That said, California Lottery remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner of the $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot from last November.”
When asked about whether he had seen the video footage of Castro buying the ticket, Rivera said he was not convinced but declined to fully comment on the matter.
Asked about the situation in his criminal case, he explained: “Imma get a lawyer, so the next court [date] I’ll be with my lawyer.”
During Friday’s hearing, he did not enter a plea and instead told the court that he wanted to speak to a public defender before deciding whether to hire his own lawyer.
His arraignment has now been pushed back to January 11, while the next hearing in his civil case is also scheduled for next year.